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Start-up generation

José Ibeas

Founder of Anais Medical

José Ibeas is the Coordinator of the Clinical, Interventional, and Computational Nephrology Group at the Parc Taulí I3PT (CICN) He is co-director of the Master's in Artificial Intelligence in the Mixed Unit–Engineering School of the Autonomous University of Barcelona . He is the former president of VAS and the vice-president of GEMAV.

“Creating a company is yet another possible option”

26.04.2021

Anais Medical is a spin-off f rom Hospital Parc Taulí of Sabadell is devoted to medical training to perform invasive procedures by designing and manufacturing simulation models, both synthetic and via virtual reality. Its hallmark is its realism, as its development is based on anatomy using bioengineering. In 2020, Anais Medical participated in CRAASH Barcelona, the acceleration program that helped researchers and entrepreneurs bring to market innovations in the field of healthtech alongside the accelerator CIMIT (Boston). The call for applications  to participate in its fourth edition is open until July 14. 

Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?

Because I was restless. After a career of attending, teaching, research, and especially in innovation lately, I was attracted by the challenge of completing the circle by creating a company. In that way I could manage the entire process to generate models that were useful to users. I'm a clinician, and we’re not used to working in these environments, yet if you surround yourself with a great team, an idea’s potential can go far.

What is the most important strategic decision you’ve made so far?

I’m a huge defender of both teamwork and interdisciplinarity. That is, of combining professionals from disciplines that may be very different but that share knowledge of a common area, each from their own perspective, which can exponentially multiply its value. It is common to find resistance to this approach in the medical field out of a fear of losing the spotlight or missing great opportunities. That's why I've always tried to break down these barriers, and the successes have shown that it was worth the effort. 

Now, with the inclusion of technological advances in medicine in the age of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, new stakeholders are appearing on this scene from the worlds of bioengineering and data engineering. 
The challenge of creating a team that includes this new job profile has become a factor with unquestionably strategic repercussions. This has translated into the fact that both bioengineering and computer engineering have become not only key pieces at the CICN but also the catalysts of all our projects. Proof of that is our company's swift growth.

What would you have liked to know before setting up the company?

In medical programs, there is no curricular training in the technology around it, or particularly in everything an entrepreneur needs to know. This slows down many potentially successful processes, and the majority never even come into being. And that's a shame. 

This is why if the greatest obstacle to becoming an entrepreneur is fear of the unknown, the problem here is even greater. So I would simply have liked someone at some point in my career to have told me that creating a company is yet another possible option. But of course, you need the foundation in order to get there, and we still have a long way to go. 

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Think big.” And it works. When I began to organize international courses in my hospital some years ago, one of the guests told me: “Keep going and never forget it. Think big.” That's the best advice I can give now. Believe in yourself, think big, and only you set the limits.

What strategy or tactic do you use at work that is also helpful in other areas of life?

The mix of teamwork, trust, and a positive atmosphere. Because no matter what goal you set out to achieve, I think that the most important thing is the journey itself more than the destination. In fact, professional tactics are likely nothing more than a reflection of how we approach life. When you focus on a goal, not achieving it is inherently associated with a sense of failure. But if you enjoy every moment along the way, the journey will have been worth it even if you don’t reach your goal.

And now what? What milestones do you want to achieve in the short term?

To contribute to redesigning the scene in the medical ecosystem here. That is, I would like to make everything we have discussed feasible: the need for training in technology for health professionals, creating technological interdisciplinary teams and generating projects that reach the utility phase. With the recently created Mixed Unit between the CICN and the UAB School, the Master's in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Health is geared precisely at health clinicians and professionals, and now with the creation of Anais Medical, the goal is to be able to have results to demonstrate that we can help redraw the boundaries of how knowledge is handled.